profiles - a light-hearted look at industry personalities
No. 33 in a continuing series
Marketing Director, A.C. Lighting
Glyn O'Donoghue spent his time away from school rebuilding friends bicycles from parts found at the local scrap yard. His commercial instincts were still rather naive however, as he was caught trying to sell additional parts back to the cycle shop which had discarded them in the first place!
A career in engineering seemed the logical path and he secured himself an apprenticeship with BMW. This position was supposed to be a step towards greater things in engineering but at the end of the apprenticeship his promising career came to an ironic eniergency stop, as his manager explained how an irate customer's wheel had just parted company with the rest of the ear. Glyn left quietly.
The commercial world beckoned and he -joined an independent electrical wholesaler where he worked his way around the company for three years and learnt about business. It was here that he discovered he had certain abilities in the selling of technical products, so when a suitable position with stage engineering company Hall Stage Products was spotted in the local paper. it seemed liked the perfect lit.
The following three years were spent getting to grips with all aspects of stage engineering, and Glyn relished the engineering challenges that presented themselves and became competent in selling custom technical solutions to TV studios, theatres, schools and colleges all over the UK. It was with Hall Stage that Glyn attended his first ABTT trade show at the Riverside Studios in the mid 1980's and he saw at first glance how real industry sales professionals performed
Keen to stay in the industry, a move to Oxford-based sales and rental company Lancelyn Lighting was next on Glyn's agenda, where he was introduced to entertainment lighting for the first time. Although a specialist in rigging and stage engineering, his days were spent "performing" with branch manager Paul Fowler at the trade counter, where wigs, make-up and pyro were often used for dramatic effect as part of their sales pitch.
When not entertaining clients Glyn spent his time selling projects during the day and installing the projects during evenings and weekends. He recalls: "One memorable Christmas. Paul and I were installing some custom auditorium seating in a monastery. We worked late and decided to sleep on the stage in our sleeping bags to save money. In the middle of the night Paul woke up, white as a sheet, describing a black hooded ghost hovering over him whilst he slept. Upon further investigation it turned out to he one of the monks doing the late night locking-up rounds - but we wouldn't sleep there again."
A.C. Lighting has now been Glyn's home for the past 11 years and he seems quite content. He joined the company to work in UK sales, but his ability to understand and explain technical products was soon spotted and he quickly moved on to head-up technical sales and
product management. Initially with Jands consoles and subsequently, Wholehog and WYSIWYG. Glyn has managed an enviable portfolio of products on a global basis. During the past 10 years he has travelled the world spreading the word and is a familiar industry face at most industry trade events. During this tune two years were spend based in Boston, US where he focused on the US launch of the Wholehog II.
Glyn moved back to the UK in 1996 with his Dutch born wife Simone as soon as they discovered they were going to have a family. He is now a devoted father of two: William 4 and Kimberley 2 (going on I8) and spends his weekends trying to keep the peace.
In 2000 Glyn was appointed Marketing Director for A.C. Lighting hut claims that he is still a technician at heart.
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